Dr. Gary Chapman: We are in a love relationship with God, initiated by Him. We did not initiate it. We love God because He first loved us. Let’s make it vibrant and alive, and let’s keep it vibrant and alive, and let’s not criticize others who express love to God in a different way, but let us express love to God wherever we are in a way that’s gonna be meaningful to us and to others.
End of Excerpt
John Fuller: That’s Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the best-selling series of books about the Five Love Languages, and he’s our guest today, talking about how you can more intentionally grow closer to God. I’m John Fuller, and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly.
Jim Daly: John, I like the quote by the theologian Augustine, and he said, “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in God.” And when I look at so many people that are flailing, um, so often it’s obvious that the hole they’re trying to fill is the hole that God wants to fill in their heart, right?
John: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right.
Jim: Whether it’s some form of abuse, whatever it might be. And each one of us is wired to know God, and we won’t find that true fulfillment in anything outside of Him. And, uh, you can continue your entire life fighting that, uh, but I think those that have found peace and contentment have come to that conclusion and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and found that He fills that’s void in our heart. And it’s, it’s an amazing, uh, experience to know Christ in that way. Uh, sadly, many people struggle to relate to God in a personal way. Maybe you feel like you should have an emotional experience at church, but that doesn’t always happen, and it’s not on a regular basis. Uh, or maybe your spouse loves to gather with other Christians to pray, but you’re not as comfortable praying publicly like that. And if this is you, we want to encourage you today, uh, because God draws people to Himself in very different ways. Uh, for some, it’s a promise in Scripture that really strikes them, uh, for others, it’s coming to know Christ gradually by reading the Bible and gaining knowledge over time. Uh, today, our guest, Gary Chapman, will describe how God relates to each of us uniquely, and he’ll have some very practical advice to help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.
John: And Dr. Chapman is a pastor, counselor and, uh, as I said, author of the best-selling series of books about the Five Love Languages. And our conversation today is based on his book, God Speaks Your Love Language: How to Experience and Express God’s love. And we have copies of that book here at the ministry. Give us a call, 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY, or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.
Jim: Gary, welcome back to Focus. It’s so good to have you here, every time.
Gary: Well, it’s always good to be here.
Gary: I enjoy it.
Jim: I do, I so appreciate you and, man, your contribution to the Kingdom and the way, uh, lives have been changed because of your work, and I salute you for that. Um, Gary, the Five Love Languages has been such a stellar concept and, I say this every time you’re here, it’s just wonderful to watch the Lord anoint that person with some special insight. And I do believe He’s given you that with the Love Languages and how we’re wired by Him. Uh, let’s touch on them again just to refresh everybody’s memory. What are the five and their brief description?
Gary: Yeah, five ways to express love in an emotional level, to meet that deep need for love, which all of us have. One is words of affirmation, just affirming them, something about their personality or the way they look or something they’ve done for you, uh, but it’s usually words. You know, Proverbs 18:21 says life and death is in the power of the tongue.
Gary: So, for some people, this is their language. You give them affirming words, they feel loved. Uh, another is acts of service, doing something for them that you know they would like for you to do. In a marriage, that would be such things as washing dishes, vacuuming floors, walking the dog, changing the baby’s diaper, (laughs) anything, you know.
Jim: (laughs) Are you still vacuuming, by the way?
Gary: I still vacuum, yeah.
Jim: That’s great. How many years have you been vacuuming?
Gary: This is my wife’s love language.
Gary: When I learned it, and I learned it well. In fact, before I left the house to, uh, fly out here, the last thing I did was take the trash out.
Jim: Oh, good for you.
Gary: ‘Cause I knew she’s look at that empty trash can and say, “Man, what a wonderful husband.” (laughs)
Gary: Acts of service. Uh, the old saying, actions speak louder than words. If this is their love language, that’s true.
Jim: That’s good.
Gary: And then there’s gifts. Universal to give gifts as an expression of love. The gift says they were thinking about me. Look what they got for me.
Gary: The gift doesn’t have to be expensive. We’ve always said it’s the thought that counts, but I remind you, it’s not the thought left in your head that counts-
Gary: It the gift that came out of the thought in your head.
Jim: Are you speaking to husbands right now?
Gary: (laughs) I am.
Jim: No kidding.
Gary: And then there’s quality time, giving them your undivided attention. I do not mean sitting on the couch watching television together, because someone else has your attention.
Gary: You’re sitting down, the TV’s off, the computer’s down, you’re not answering your phone, you’re looking at each other and listening and talking to each other. Or taking a walk down the road together, but they have your undivided attention. And then, number five is physical touch. We’ve long known the emotional power of physical touch. In a marriage, that would be such things as holding hands and kissing, embracing, the whole sexual part of the marriage, arm around the shoulder. Driving down the road, you put your hand on their leg, just affirming touches. And for some people, they really feel loved. (laughs)
Jim: And that’s good, and you do have a, a little quiz that’ll help direct people in that way, to show you what your bent is. Uh, obviously, a question that often comes up, uh, is, am I only one thing? Can I be more than one? What if I have some of all five, all five of those sound good to me?
Gary: Yeah. Well, I think we can receive love in all five. None of us is gonna turn away from any one of those. But, yeah, I think for most people, there is what I call a primary love language. It’s very similar to spoken language.
Gary: You know, uh, we all grew up speaking a language with a dialect and we call it our native tongue. That’s the way we-
Jim: I don’t notice any dialect in you.
Gary: Obviously, I grew up speaking English with a southern accent, okay?
Gary: But at any rate, uh, most people have a primary but, for some people, a secondary can be very, very close. That is, two of those really stand out for them. Uh, there are a few people that I’ve met along the way who say, well, I don’t know, I just think they’re all equal for me. And, uh, (laughs) to those people I say, well, probably one of two things, either you grew up not feeling loved and thus, you’re not quite sure what it’s supposed to feel like.
John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Gary: Or, you grew up feeling loved because your parents spoke all five of them, and now you’re married and your spouse speaks all five, and so you feel loved but you don’t know which ones important enough. And I say don’t worry about it. As long as you feel loved-
Jim: And that’s the man who is blessed, right?
Gary: (laughs) That’s right.
Jim: I’ve had that experience. Gary, let me ask you, though, you said something I want to tap in before we get into the book content, which is, God Speaks Your Love Language. Uh, the idea being that core need, speak to that. Because I know when you look at the difficulties that some people are in, whether that’s drug abuse, alcohol abuse, pornography addiction, we started there. So often, they’re trying to fill this void. Speak to that human need for love, a-, and help the common person, not the psychologist, understand what does that mean? Is that really my core need? I don’t feel it, but it is.
Gary: Yeah. yeah, I think, uh, most people do agree that the most fundamental emotional need we have, on the human plane, is the need to feel loved by the significant people in your life. If you’re married, the most significant is your spouse. And if you indeed feel love by your spouse, life is beautiful, and you can process everything else in life much better. If it’s a parent-child relationship, the question is not to parents, do you love your children? The question is, do the children feel loved?
Gary: Because children who do not feel loved will grow up with many internal emotional struggles. In the teenage years, they typically will go looking for love, often in the wrong places.
Gary: And that’s why many teenagers make huge mistakes. They don’t feel loved by their parents. It’s not that the parents don’t love them, but they’ve never learned the primary language and given them heavy doses of the primary language. So, it’s exceedingly important in human relationships, and especially in family relationships.
Jim: Yeah, and that’s what makes the concept of the Five Love Languages so critically important. And let’s move now to this book, uh, God Speaks Your Love Language. I guess the obvious question is, what is God’s love language? This is always thin ice, man-
Jim: When you’re speaking on behalf of the Lord, Himself.
Jim: So, uh, you better get this right.
Gary: Well, you know- (laughs)
Jim: What is God’s love language?
Gary: Well, you know, that is the question that led me to write this book.
Gary: People kept saying to me, Gary, what is God’s love language?
Jim: Did that make you uneasy? That would make me uneasy, answering for God.
Gary: Well, what it did, it drove me to the Scriptures.
Jim: Okay [crosstalk 00:09:15]
Gary: And I just said, okay, God, I’m gonna read, I’m just gonna through the Bible again and just see. And so, I just went through the whole Bible again and I just made notes every time I saw God expressing His love. And I came out at the conclusion, which I should have known to start with, God speaks all five of ’em fluently. (laughs)
Jim: (laughs) Exactly.
Gary: You know, we’re made in God’s image-
Gary: You know, and so God speaks all five of these languages. And, uh, so yeah, it was a fascinating study for me, and I, I didn’t conclude, obviously, that one is more important to God than the other. I mean, the Bible describes God as love. God is love. That’s part of His character.
Jim: Uh, let’s get, uh, started with words of affirmation. How does God show His love to us through, uh, words?
Gary: Well, you know, one of the, uh, one of the things that really hit me when I was going through all of this, because I was looking at two or three things. I was looking, first of all, at people’s conversion experience, when they initially come to God, how do they come to God? And I began to see a parallel between their love language-
Gary: And their salvation experience. Uh, for example, Saul, on the road to Damascus, had a physical experience with God. I mean, he fell to the ground. His eyes were blinded. God touched him. And I hear people today say, you know, I, I was just sitting there in the church and listening to the song and, all of a sudden, my body started shaking and my, and tears came to my eyes. And I, I knew God had touched me. Not everybody has that experience, you know? And, and there are others that just take words of affirmation, which you were asking about. They’re conversion experience was hearing a specific word from God, either reading the Bible themselves or hearing a pastor say it. Take Martin Luther, for example. You know, he was very religious and he was really trying to please God, but he had no sense of peace. And he read in Romans, the just shall live by faith, not works, but by faith. And he said, “Paradise broke in my soul.”
Gary: You know, he was drawn to God by those words, and many, many people will tell you, you know, it’s when I heard, you know, a particular thing, that’s when I responded to God. So, for those people, uh, specific words from God, uh, and for example, Isaiah 41:10, “Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, I’m your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” Whew, a words of affirmation person, man, that speaks deeply to their heart.
Jim: Yeah, absolutely. I, I know every hair on your head.
Jim: How about that?
Jim: He’s so concerned about us that He knows us that intimately. Uh, let’s move to quality time. How does God express that to us in terms of quality time?
Gary: The person who has quality time as their primary language will likely come to God over an extended period of time. They start, perhaps, reading the Bible, which maybe they haven’t read before. They pick up a Christian book and start reading a Christian book about what it means to be a Christian. And they start talking to friends, they may even start going to church. And one morning, as they’re reading the Scriptures or reading a Christian book in a quiet place, they just say, “God, I believe. I believe.” But it was that personal time of interfacing with God in quietness that they were drawn to Christ. And, uh, they didn’t have a dramatic experience. Their body wasn’t shaking, you know, and it wasn’t one particular word that spoke to them. It was just over a period of time and exposing themselves to the Scriptures.
Jim: Yeah. Gary, let me ask you this question before we move to the other three and get God’s perspective on that. Um, we tend to also judge each other’s love language, whether it’s up or down, right?
Jim: Why do we play into that? Why can’t people have whatever road that they come into a relationship with Christ, uh, sufficient, that’s good enough?
Gary: Yeah. Well, that’s one of the major points I make in the book, is the fact that we do tend to judge each other. And the physical person will say, for example, if you didn’t have a dramatic experience like I had, you didn’t really get it, you know.
Jim: Right, are you sure you’re saved?
Gary: Yeah, are you sure you’re saved?
Gary: Or the person who says, I can remember the day I really became a Christian. I just know it was over a period of time, exposing myself to the Scriptures. And it was, no, no, I’m not sure, I’m not sure you’re a real Christian. If you don’t know the day you were born again, you know. (laughs)
Jim: Right. No, it’s true.
Jim: I mean, I, I feel that.
Gary: But by nature, we tend to compare ourselves and we-
Gary: We just by nature, we judge people. But th-, understanding this concept and seeing it, and in the book I talk about how this is illustrated in the Bible, of different experiences that people had in the Bible, and church history and contemporary Christians, that their experiences of coming to Christ were very different.
Jim: Yeah, yeah.
John: Our guest today on Focus on the Family is Dr. Gary Chapman and we’re talking about his book, God Speaks Your Love Language: How to Experience and Express God’s Love. We’ll encourage you to get a copy of it from us here at Focus on the Family, uh, 800, the letter A and the word, FAMILY, is our number. Or, stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.
Jim: Uh, Gary, the third one is that idea of, of gifts. And some people might think of that as a little trivial. I might be in that camp. (laughs)
Jim: Where, you know, okay, it’s a gift, it’s a gift card, whatever. That’s nice and thank you so much, or I’ll give one or two occasionally. But, uh, we don’t see that as a love language. (laughs) What, how do we need to refocus ourselves in that regard?
Gary: Well, for some people, if this is their language, they came to Christ when they began to realize what God was offering to give them-
Jim: As His gift.
Gary: His gift.
Gary: And I remember a young lady who said to me, “Dr. Chapman, I was strung out on drugs and I went to a drug rehab place that happened to be Christian.” And she said, “there, I heard for the first time in my life that God wanted to give me forgiveness of all my failures and give me eternal life with Him forever.” She said, “I could not believe it.” She said, “it just took me a while to put my arms around that, but when I accepted that gift from God,” she said, “it was just absolutely incredible. It was life-changing for me.”
Gary: So, for some people, it is the reality that God wants to give us the gift of eternal life. It’s not, you don’t have to work for it, you just believe that what He did on the cross was for you, and you accept the gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins. So, for these people, this is central in their turning their lives over to Christ.
Jim: That’s an amazing statement. It kind of blows me away, the way you just said that. That God, uh, yeah, that’s His, His present to us-
Jim: His gift to humanity is the gift of eternal life. We tend to think of Him as, you know, the old grandfather with a stick, who beats us if we don’t behave properly. That’s not God.
Gary: That’s not God.
Jim: How do you see, uh, acts of service and God showing us those acts of service? How do people come to Christ through acts of service?
Gary: Well, you know, I think when you look at the whole of Bible, look at Israel, for example, the tremendous act of service God did when he brought them out of land of, of Egypt, you know. Man, every Jewish child knows all about that.
Gary: Uh, but look at the New Testament, at all the things that God has done for us, acts of service, you know. Uh, Jesus’s life is described, he went about doing good. He was doing acts of service for everybody he encountered. But the greatest act of service, and this is what people focus on if this is their language, this is often how they come to Christ, when they realize the reality that we are all sinners. We’ve all turned our own way and turned away from God. And when Christ died on the cross, He was paying for all of our sins and failures so God could forgive us and still be a just and holy God.
Gary: So, that was the greatest act of service, is what He did for us on the cross. And they realize, we can’t come to God in our own righteousness. We come in His righteousness, and this is what brought, draws them to Christ.
Jim: Yeah, that is really good. How do you see God using, uh, those love languages that He created, that you identified, in the area of physical touch? What is that expression of physical touch?
Gary: Well, I think these are the people who do have an emotional experience, a physically emotional experience when they come to Christ-
Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Gary: And I, I mentioned Saul on the road to Damascus, and there are other people in our day who will tell you, I, you know, I, I was just disregarding God with my life but, all of a sudden, I mean, I was struck down physically and God, my body was touched and I realized, whoo, this, I’ve never felt this before. Uh, you know. I remember a guy who told me, said, “I went to a church.” He said, “it was kind of a holy roller church, you know.”
Gary: He said, “I didn’t know what it was when I went there.” He said, “but they asked people to come down to the front and pray,” and he said, “my buddy said, let’s go. So, we went down there and everybody started praying at the same time” and he said, “my body started shaking.” He said, “I started weeping.” And he said, “I just said, God, I don’t know who You are but I, I want to give my life to You.” (laughs) Well, not everybody has that kind of experience, but if you’re a physical touch, God knows how to touch you. And He will, because He loves you.
Jim: And I would, I would guess that what you’re saying is, this is the inclination, if I could say it that way. In other words, if you’re a person that appreciates physical touch and that physical-ness, you’re more likely to experience God in that way. But it’s not the only way.
Gary: No, absolutely not.
Jim: And it’s not set in concrete-
Gary: No, no.
Jim: And the Lord’s gonna speak to you in all kinds of ways, right?
Gary: Yeah, absolutely.
Jim: And I just wanna make sure that’s understood. Uh, Gary, this is great, conceptually, about your relationship to God and how God may have wooed you in that relationship, because you, uh, like words of affirmation or, uh, acts of service, as we’ve said. But in the marital relationship, maybe there’s a little strife there between husband and wife because you’re acting in that bent-
Jim: And your spouse doesn’t get it. You have an example of that?
Gary: Yeah, yeah. You know, it is true that once we become believers, we often express our love to God in our love language. Uh, for example, one of the stories I share in the book is a husband who was, monthly he was giving money to all kind of, uh, Christian organizations, and his wife was just kind of disturbed. She thought, you’re just overdoing it with the gifts here, you know.
Gary: And, uh, and then she read the book and got this concept that once we become believers, we express our love to God in our love language. And she knew already that his love language was gifts and she thought, oh, that’s why he’s giving gifts. You know, whereas for her, uh, hers was quality time and she expressed her love to God by her devotional time. She would spend 30 minutes to an hour every day in the Scriptures with God. But her husband didn’t do that.
Gary: You know, and she was thinking, you know, he needs to spend more time with God in the Bible, you know. (laughs)
Gary: But he was spending time with God giving gifts, you know.
Jim: But let me ask you, in that way, that friction can be created in the relationship. And, uh, you know, it’s interesting that you’re both wanting to do the right thing, right?
Jim: I think for Jean and I, even in our parenting, we had a bit of that friction because, you know, she wanted a very formal devotional time with our two boys. And I was going, I don’t think that’s going to work that well with boys. Okay, let’s sit down, we’re going to do a 20-minute reading, then we’re gonna have 20 minutes of discussion.
Jim: But she’s very, you know-
Jim: She’s very formula and methodically-
Gary: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
Jim: And I can appreciate that, but I could see the train wreck coming.
Jim: They’re not gonna like doing devotions, we need to do something actively.
Jim: Let’s go down to the basement and, you know, take a beef tongue and play with it and say, what’s the power of the tongue like?
Jim: Or, you know, something different.
Jim: Uh, she didn’t like those ideas (laughs)
Jim: But how do you come to that agreement and, and understand each other and what you’re driving at because of the way you’re wired?
Gary: Well, I think, uh, understanding this concept, that we are different, and we do express our love to God in different ways, is important. I remember the lady, for example, her husband would raise his hands in worship in church, and it really embarrassed her.
Gary: She just felt like, you don’t do that.
Gary: Yeah. It just felt, she felt uneasy. But his language was physical touch.
Gary: He was, he was raising his hands and praising God, you know. And her, hers was, was something else. But if you understand this concept, you give your spouse the freedom to be who they are and express their love to God in their language, you know? Uh, so to me, this is really important in a marriage, that we understand the difference between these two, and that we, we will likely express to God in a different way.
Jim: But there’s a difference between that expression of being demanding, and then, disappointment, and that’s more of an internal thing-
Jim: Where then you have this little disappointment about your spouse.
Jim: That they’re not willing to worship the way you wanna worship.
Gary: The way, the way you want.
Jim: How do you deal with that? How do you lay that aside?
Gary: Well, I think once we understand the concept, we can talk about it, first of all.
Gary: You know, the wife can say to the husband, “you know, honey, I’m embarrassed when you raise your hands in worship at church. (laughs) I mean, it seems like to me that’s just overly emotional, you know.” And then he can share with her then. “Well, well, honey, I’m just feeling it inside so strongly, I, I just, that’s my way of praising God, you know?” And he says, “you don’t have to. I’m not asking you to do it, you know. We’d work our way through that, just like we do a lot of other differences in the marriage-
Gary: Relationship. We, we work our expressions of love to God out as we talk about it.”
Jim: Gary, let me also touch on another, uh, issue that can really hinder our growth in Christ, and that’s the feeling like we were in a rut in that relationship with the Lord. And it, maybe, uh, we used to love serving in the nursery or, you know, whatever that love language is, but it just feels routine now. It’s lost its shine.
Gary: Yeah, yeah.
Jim: Uh, how do we make sure that we don’t fall into that rut?
Gary: Well, I think the tendency is that we will fall into the rut. Uh, for example, I give the illustration in the book of, uh, the person whose acts of service is their love language, they’re the ones who will volunteer to work in the soup kitchen.
Gary: In fact, you just name something that needs to be done, they raise their hand, I volunteer. So, 10 years ago, they volunteered to go work in the soup kitchen. And when they went down there every night and dipped those beans and looked up in the eyes of the man in front of them, they saw Jesus, because they remember what Jesus said, “you do it to the least of these, you do it to Me.” And it was a powerful experience for them. That was 10 years ago. Now, they still go to the soup kitchen on Thursday nights. They still dip beans, but they’re not thinking about Jesus. This is what they do on Thursday nights.
Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Gary: And any of these expressions can become mundane or routine for us, and God never intends that. So, what I suggest in the book is, why don’t you learn some new dialects of your language. If acts of service is your language and you’ve been going to the soup kitchen, I’m not saying stop going to the soup kitchen, but maybe you could, uh, go trim some shrubs for an older person who can’t do it and can’t afford to have it done.
Gary: Or maybe you could go, you know, do something else, serve some other way, and it awakens it up. Or maybe you could even stretch yourself and speak some of the other love languages. Maybe physical touch is not your language, okay? But maybe you could get on your knees in private. Instead of just sitting there at the desk and praying, get on your knees and pray. That would waken it up for you.
Gary: So, learn some new dialects of your own language or learn some of the other languages, and it keeps your relationship with God vital, and your worship to Him is vital.
Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative). You know, and those are great suggestions, Gary. So often, the proof is in the pudding, so let me put the question to you. Have the love languages impacted your relationship with God? (laughs)
Gary: You know, my language is words of affirmation. So, what do I do? I do what many words of affirmation people do, I express my love to God in words.
Gary: Written words, look at the, Martin Luther and all the books that he wrote.
Gary: You know, all the things that he wrote. So, often you’ll find that people who are writers, words of affirmation is their language and they’re expressing love to God by writing. And also, by speaking, of course, you know, and personal prayer, and praising God and thanking God. So, uh, that’s the most natural way for me to express my love to God, is with words. Now, I seek to speak some of the other languages also, okay? But what is most natural is our primary language.
Jim: Gary, this has been so helpful and, uh, people are gonna be able to put this into practice.
Gary: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jim: It’s very practical, and I hope you will do that. Uh, thanks for being with us.
Gary: Well, thank you, Jim. I always enjoy being with you, and especially talking about God and His love.
Jim: Yeah, Amazing. Uh, let me turn to the listener. We would love for you to get a copy of Gary’s book, God Speaks Your Love Language. And if you can send a gift to Focus on the Family for any amount, uh, we’ll send this as our way of saying thank you. And, uh, in addition to that, you’ll be partnering with us to, you know, help Focus do so much. Uh, helping marriages stay together, helping save a baby’s life, and the list goes on and on. So be a part of the, uh, ministry here, be a partner, and, uh, when you make that gift, we’ll send you the book to say thanks. If you can’t afford it, we’ll get it into your hands. Uh, it’s not the, uh, the reason. Uh, we want to make sure we meet the need in your life. So just let us know, give us a call. We’ll trust others will cover the expense of that.
John: Yeah, we have a generous team of supporters who make, uh, all the resources here available and, uh, we do invite you, of course, to donate as you can. If you need to talk to a counselor because, um, we have talked about something that seems foreign to you or, uh, you just really need to unpack something, uh, we have some terrific caring Christian counselors here. And then, finally, we do have a booklet online and we can send it to you as well. It’s called, Coming Home, and it explains what it is to have a vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ. All of this available when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And if you missed any part of today’s show with Dr. Chapman, you can find today’s broadcast, uh, archives and a large collection of other programming on the Focus on the Family app. Look for that in the app store, or on Google Play. Coming up next time, author Julie Lowe will encourage parents to rely on Godly wisdom instead of parenting formulas.
Julie Lowe: But when I say, Lord, I need you, my child needs you, then I am looking for the Lord to intervene, looking for the Spirit to be at work in my child’s life. And then, I’m realizing, actually, it’s always the Lord that has to be at work. I have a responsibility how I respond to my child’s behavior, but I am not responsible for the outcome.